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Microsoft Edge could soon become the obvious choice for Office users

Microsoft Edge
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is testing a new feature for its web browser Edge that introduces tighter integration with its Microsoft 365 suite of productivity apps.

As noted in a post on the Microsoft Edge subreddit, the latest early-access build includes a new option that allows users to launch straight into web-based Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents.

To access the feature, users can right click on an open browser tab and select the “New Office tab” option in the context menu.

Currently, the Office integration is only available to members of the Microsoft Edge Insider Canary channel, who have opted to receive the most experimental features as soon as possible. Even then, reports suggest only a portion of Canary members have been given access.

Assuming no major issues are encountered in testing, however, the functionality should be extended to all users soon enough.

Office in Microsoft Edge

Although the latest market share figures show Edge is still a long way off market leader Google Chrome, or even Apple’s Safari, the new Office integration will act as additional incentive for the Microsoft 365 customers (of which there are many millions) to make the switch.

The rise of remote working has also placed new emphasis on web-based office software, which facilitates real-time collaboration between employees no longer able to consult one another in-person.

As such, although the new Edge feature probably falls into the nice-to-have category, easy access to web-based versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel will be attractive to plenty of users. And in future, there’s no reason the option can’t be expanded to include other Microsoft 365 services too, such as OneDrive, Outlook, Teams and more.

With few remaining Internet Explorer and Edge Legacy users to funnel towards Edge, Microsoft will have to work out how to draw people away from other major browsers if its service is to continue to grow. A new Office integration could at least go some way to achieving this goal.

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Joel Khalili

Joel Khalili is a Staff Writer working across both TechRadar Pro and ITProPortal. He's interested in receiving pitches around cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, storage, internet infrastructure, mobile, 5G and blockchain.